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What is shaping culture? The early days of Covid (pt 2)

In Part 1 of The Early Days of Covid-19 published two weeks ago, we showed how a Spanish restaurateur managed lockdown and we spoke to a young South African woman who had been alone in lockdown for 67 days by the time we caught up with her. In Part 2, we address some of the mental health aspects of lockdown with psychologist Eleen Polson; show you some ways people dealt with cabin fever, and show you a rather telling Flight vs Corona spread map.

Podcast guest Eleen Polson is a clinical psychologist, trauma therapist, writer and artist. She explained that traumas come in all different forms for different people, and highlighted that they can differ daily, according to your coping skills. The definition of trauma that Eleen likes to use is any experience in which you feel you don't have sufficient coping skills to deal with it. If you’re overwhelmed, it's usually traumatic, and what is traumatic one day, might not be another day, depending on your personal tools.



Cabin fever was certainly an aspect of lockdown that was felt intensely during lockdown Levels 4 and 5. It’s perhaps slightly less of a burden now that we're able to leave our homes. Many, however, are still distancing themselves from others and keeping isolated. This can have a serious impact on one's mental health, so here are some ways to deal with it.

What is shaping culture? The early days of Covid (pt 2)
What is shaping culture? The early days of Covid (pt 2)
What is shaping culture? The early days of Covid (pt 2)
What is shaping culture? The early days of Covid (pt 2)
What is shaping culture? The early days of Covid (pt 2)

Something which occurred to us was that the spread of the virus in Africa was far less than in Europe and the rest of the world, something which to this day remains true. African nations shut down international and domestic travel very soon after it was revealed that Covid-19 would be going global. We thought we’d look at the flight tracker to see what we could glean from it, and this is what we found...

These map images were taken at the same time utilising Flightradar24 and Johns Hopkins University’s live Covid-19 spread, we can see a clear correlation between the countries and continents that are doing well, and those that are not. Clearly, this is not the whole story and we await the full spread of Corona in nations hit later, but if we learned anything from China, it's that we need to stay home.

What is shaping culture? The early days of Covid (pt 2)
What is shaping culture? The early days of Covid (pt 2)
What is shaping culture? The early days of Covid (pt 2)

Us humans, we sure do have a way of wrecking the natural world and while there are misleading images of nature returning, and pollution declining, there are many more which are true. People from Italy, India, Wales, the USA and more are posting images and videos of animals confidently strolling through the streets of ‘our’ cities.

In India, there are hundreds of Olive Ridley turtles laying eggs on the beaches. Historically, almost all these turtles were hunted by humans, leaving very few eggs to hatch. Unseen since 1990, a Malabar Civet was also spotted.

We have not learned our lesson, as we can see governments around the world restarting their dirty industries in earnest. But for now, it's lovely to see these creatures take back what's theirs.

What is shaping culture? The early days of Covid (pt 2)
What is shaping culture? The early days of Covid (pt 2)
What is shaping culture? The early days of Covid (pt 2)

Covid-19 has wrought havoc on us and, as we see the numbers of homeless dramatically increase, we have a duty to be better and to be kinder to our fellow human beings. The economy is being annihilated, even as we watch businesses come back, we see others try to destroy them with mafia-style extortions. We are on a knife edge and will remain there, until we start finding ways to build ourselves up without breaking others down.

About Brett Rogers

Brett Rogers, culture lead at Cape Town advertising agency HaveYouHeard and content curator for In_, a channel of content, which showcases cultural forces that are changing the world. It aims to inform, inspire and entertain the viewer and does so with multimedia posts, including podcasts, videos, google trends, mini Q+A's and more. in_ talks to those interested in in-depth cultural exploration and those curious about the world we live in.

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